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MCCAIN IN REPUBLICAN STRAW POLL EMBARRASSMENT
Sat Mar 11 2006 12:50:33 ET
Facing a loss at a 2008 straw poll event this weekend, Senator John McCain of Arizona told his supporters to write in President Bush [?] as a sign of support, leaving many sputtering.
"For the next three years, with our country at war, he's our president and the only one who needs our support," McCain told nearly 2,000 party activists from 26 states gathered in Memphis.
McCain, realizing the national political media had descended on the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, moved to discredit the straw poll by asking delegates to vote for Bush, insiders claim.
Instead of stopping the momentum of Majority Leader Bill Frist - widely anticipated to win the straw poll - the move seemed to expose the McCain camp's insincerity about its position with the base.
One activist said, "McCain voted against all the Bush tax cuts... maybe he should have voted for the president then, instead of waiting for a political stunt to try and distract."
UPDATE: Frist finished first with 36.9% in the straw poll. Romney finished second with 14.4%, just under half as many votes as Frist. Activists rejected the McCain campaign shenanigans with Allen tying Bush at 3rd.
The president received numerous standing ovations - he is still very popular among activists despite bad poll numbers. Mccain finished 5th.
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